Meeting New Wines

On our second day in Sonoma, we were lucky enough, as I’ve mentioned before, to have Patrick of Iridesse Wines showing us around. The second stop of the day was to a group of wineries who share space in the same building complex that I likely would never have found without his guidance. We had intended to go to several of the wineries in the space, but after the first, got a phone call and took a detour for a private tasting over at Michel Schlumberger. Prior to knowing of our detour, Patrick directed Matt, Russ, and I into Camellia Cellars to taste some excellent wines, where we also got to meet the owner!

We tasted through their whole line up (and more, including some wine that won’t be released until this fall and came away very happy!

2007 First Kiss: $22, Proprietor’s Blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, and Viognier, 12.7% alcohol by volume. Melon, lemon, tropical, floral, crisp, the Sauvignon Blanc really shows through in this one.

2006 Sangiovese: $25. Tart, tannic, tart fruit, cherry, strawberry, nice and fruity after a bit of a swirl in the glass.

2006 Zinfandel: Lencioni Vineyard, $26, 14.6% alcohol by volume. Vanilla, blackberries, dark fruit, tannic, needs time. We took home 1.

2005 Bountiful Zinfandel: $30, 14.4% alcohol by volume. Bigger berries, boysenberry, black berries, currants, fruitier than the ’06. Very good, not sure why I didn’t bring any home.

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon: $40, 13.8% alcohol by volume. Cream, little funk, bell pepper, herbs, dark fruit, still needs time!

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon: $45, 14.8% alcohol by volume. Vanilla cream, more up front fruit, strawberry, red fruit.

2006 Syrah: Not released until the fall, will definitely be getting some of this though! Vanilla, dark currants dark cherries, dark berries, lots of fruit, very very good, though needs time, a good year or 2.

2001 Diamo Grazie Proprietor’s Blend: 65% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petite Sirah: Dusty fruit, blueberry, peppery, earthy, leather saddle, cherry, strawberry. Yum. We took home 1.

2004 Petite Sirah: $32, 13.4% alcohol by volume. Blueberry, coffee, floral, chocolate, blueberry pie, yum, my kind of PS. We took home 2.

As you can see, Matt and Russ made themselves at home at the bar while we spent a lovely part of our afternoon tasting through a great line up of wines. I’ll certainly be looking forward to the release of the 2006 Syrah, it may have been my favorite of Camellia’s wines, though the Petite Sirah gave it a run for the money as well. Many thanks again to Patrick for bringing us to this gem!